I’m jealous

I’m a good person. ¬†Happy. ¬†Thoughtful. ¬†I work hard. ¬†I’m loyal, philanthropic, diligent, funny with a generous dose of sarcasm. ¬†I choose joy. ¬†I like myself.

Do I want to be more and do more?  Yes.  There are days when I want more.  Most days.  And, after years of soul searching to become a better person, I have come to terms with wanting more.

I love my car. ¬†It’s sporty and black, holds a lot of stuff, has satellite radio, and gets 45 mpg. ¬†Oh, and it’s paid for. ¬†When the Panamera pulled in next to me a couple of weeks ago, was I jealous? ¬†Yes. ¬†Did I hate or resent the perfect, athleisurely-dressed woman who got out of it? ¬†(pause while it ruminates) ¬†No, I did not. ¬†I should also note that she had Michelle Obama arms, and I’m jealous of those too. ¬†I like the Panamera. ¬†I don’t want a Panamera. ¬†I would love Michelle Obama arms, and I’m working on it. ¬†I’m okay with wanting more.

I love college sports.  I love the inspiring coaches, the hard-working student-athletes, the tradition, pageantry, fun, and the excitement.  When my team lost in the Sweet 16 in March, was I jealous?  Yes.  (breathe)  Devastated.  Heartbroken even.  Did I hate the other team?  Yeah, for a minute.  A few minutes.  And I was mildly happy that they lost in the Elite 8, but mostly because I liked the other team more.

Google told me the definition of jealous. ¬†So it fits. ¬†I feel envy of someone, their achievements, advantages, arms. ¬†Then I picked up the Webster’s beast that sits next to my desk, the one I’ve used since high school. ¬†Their definition was different – angrier. ¬†Am I “resentfully envious” of that woman’s arms? ¬†How can I resent someone who worked for something? ¬†One is not simply born with Michelle Obama arms. ¬†Well, unless you’re, you know…

jealous defimg_3652

Merriam-Webster used the words “hostile” and “intolerant” in their definition. ¬†Urban Dictionary used “hatred/bitterness”. ¬†The Online Etymology Dictionary uses “zealous” and “avaricious”, which don’t mean the same thing and seem to be on opposite sides of the positivity spectrum. ¬†Envy is one of the seven deadly sins.

So what’s the word that describes my feeling? ¬†I’m desirous for that car. ¬†I’m wanting my arms to be more toned. ¬†I fancy a national championship. ¬†Why yes, yes I do.

To me, it’s not the feeling of want or desire that warrants that negativity. ¬†It’s what we do after that twinge of jealousy hits. ¬†We see that car and that lovely woman, and we’re jealous, so the search begins for something to critique. ¬†Pink is not her color. ¬†Spent a little too long in the tanning bed today? ¬†I bet she just wears those yoga pants and doesn’t even work out. ¬†That hard-working, well-coached team wins a game and our jealousy and anger and disappointment become downright shitty, against their team and our own. ¬†Must be nice when you bail your star forward out of jail so they can finish the season. ¬†What’s the point of being 7 feet tall if you can’t block shots? ¬†That coach will never get us to the Final 4.

Sadly, these are all things I might have said in the mind of my former self. ¬†As I read them out loud, I’m actually emotional. ¬†I feel the swarm of negative thoughts circling. ¬†(I love you, Coach. ¬†I believe in you.)

Breathe. ¬†This is where we say — Stop. ¬†No. ¬†Not me. ¬†Not today. ¬†I can be disappointed without succumbing to a death spiral of self-pity or lashing out. ¬†I can want something more without resenting someone who has it. ¬†I can be thrilled with my wonderful life right now, while I work hard for what’s next. ¬†And I can be happy for another’s achievements, advantages, and arms.

So I’ll keep working, and breathing, and choosing joy. ¬†I will always be that fierce, faithful supporter of my team and their coach. ¬†I’ll add a little more weight to my workout. ¬†I’ll continue to say Stop at the right time. ¬†And I am going to be okay with wanting more.


Other thoughts:

From Psychology Today –¬†https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-body-blog/201508/3-ways-turn-jealousy-motivation-and-self-acceptance